In an interesting move today, Valve has announced to the Steam community that it's enabling developers to decide when to ban cheaters from games.
"Playing games should be fun. In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats," the company said.
"Game developers inform Valve when a disruptive player has been detected in their game, and Valve applies the game ban to the account. The game developer is solely responsible for the decision to apply a game ban. Valve only enforces the game ban as instructed by the game developer."
Cheating is inevitable in just about any online gaming community, but with a platform as massive as Steam it's nearly impossible for Valve to police everything. By giving developers complete oversight and responsibility to weed out the cheaters from their own titles, the goal is ultimately to have a more effective and fair system. What this means is that developers can institute a game ban on players in specific games, even if they aren't enforced with Valve's existing VAC and Overwatch system.
The downside is the potential for misuse or abuse. Will certain developers get too aggressive with bans or ban a player because he/she said something negative about the game in a review? Do players have any recourse to appeal a developer decision with Valve itself? While most developers will likely make the right decisions, Valve's absolving itself of all responsibility may be going too far in another direction. What do you think? Feel free to comment below.